Month: September 2014

Preserving the Merriment: Making Herb Syrups

Our last few posts have featured some fabulous herbs – Borage and Wood Sorrel – that are great fresh, but how do we preserve their flavor to enjoy past their season?  A great way to do this is by making a flavored syrup out of them!  Infused herb syrups have so many uses and can bring a fresh, leafy flavor to drinks and dishes all through the winter.  My favorite ways to use herbal syrups:

  • Cocktails – So many cocktails call for simple syrups, so why not switch it up by replacing plain simple syrup with a flavored one?  You can make our Borage G&T all year long by using Borage syrup in place of fresh Borage.
  • Sodas and “Ades” – Mix herb syrups with water in a 1:3 ratio to make sodas by using fizzy water or still water to make “ades” like the Wood Sorrel Lemonade described below and hinted at in our previous post.
  • Desserts – Replace the liquid called for in cakes or muffins with herbal syrups or brush herbal or floral syrup between cake layers after baking to add that extra little something.

Borage Syrup and Wood Sorrel “Lemonade” Concentrate ready to give out to our give-away winners!

Making Syrup

Simply fill a heat safe bowl or pot with herb leaves or flowers.  The more you pack in there, the stronger your final syrup flavor will be.  You can tear or crush/pound them to release more flavor.

Pounded Wood Sorrel

Heat a kettle of water to boiling.  Pour enough of the boiling water over the leaves to cover them completely.  Let steep covered with a lid for at least 20 minutes, but ideally overnight.

Steeping Wood Sorrel

Strain leaves and squeeze out any liquid.  Reheat herbal infusion with an equal part sugar (i.e., 1:1 ratio) until sugar is fully dissolved.  You can also add lemon or lime juice at this stage if you prefer an added tartness.

Herb Syrups

If stored in a sterile jar in the refrigerator at this point, the syrup will keep for a couple of months.

Featured Syrup Idea:  Wood Sorrel Lemonade

As our previous post mentioned, a common yard weed, Wood Sorrel, can make a tasty all-local lemonade substitute!  Use the Wood Sorrel plants as the herb in the above recipe to make Wood Sorrel Syrup.  Mix the syrup with water in a 1:3 ratio and serve over ice for a delicious lemonade drink!

Wood Sorrel Lemonade

Stay tuned for our next post, when we’ll go over how to mix this with our Wild Bergamont infused vodka for a delicious sweet tea vodka and lemonade cocktail!  

Please follow and like us:

Ireland Lied to Us

I’m gonna blow your mind in two parts, are you ready?

1. The plant the Irish told you was the inspiration for St. Patrick and the representation of the Holy Trinity–and ultimately one of the most recognizable symbols of Ireland–is not actually clover.

Imposter!

Imposter!

2. The truly inspirational plant is one that you’ve been walking over your whole life…and NOT EATING, even though YOU COULD HAVE.

Oh yeah, this stuff!

Oh yeah, this stuff!

This plant, this one right here. You probably have it growing in your yard right now. We’ve seen it our whole lives–growing among the grass at our parents’ house, alongside wildflowers, on the playground in elementary school–and even as curious, daredevil kids we never tried to put it in our mouths.

Until now. Well, a few years ago for one of us, and just a couple months ago for the other, when we started menu testing for the picnic.

Like this, but with leafy greens.

Like this, but with leafy greens.

Basically, this little plant, wood sorrel to finally put a name on it, is kinda awesome. It’s high in vitamin C and it has been used to treat ailments such as scurvy, fever, stomach upset, and to stop bleeding. It’s great raw in salads to add a sour kick, and you can also dry it or steep it like tea to make a pretty close substitute for lemonade, which is what we did at the picnic. Best of all, it grows almost everywhere, so we just had to step outside to pick it and use it!

Pretty neat, huh? Bet you want to know how to make that lemonade yourself, don’t you? Well, you’ll have to wait for the next blog post!

Please follow and like us:

Stay Connected.

Facebook
Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest
Pinterest